I’ve just finished dusting off my crystal ball and the psychic I hired just left my office, so I guess I’m ready to make my predictions for 2010. I fared pretty well on my 2009 predictions, but that doesn’t mean much of anything going forward.Â One thing for sure is I think 2010 is going to be an intriguing year in mobile tech. A number of different technologies, strategies, and possibilities are all, (at the moment) heading into 2010 with big expectations, which makes it look like a convergence point. Will it be? Who knows. Already 2010 has been christened the Year of Android and the Year of the eBook, and of course there is that mythical game changer the Apple Tablet lurking out there.
So, what’s in store for 2010? Take the jump and find out what I’m predicting.
The Big Stories
Consuming content on mobile devices (dedicated and otherwise) will be one of the biggest stories of the year.
- eBooks, eBook Readers, and reading eBooks on other devices will be one of the biggest stories of the year. We’ll see lots of Kindle Killer stories about devices.
- Publishers will work to roll out delivery mechanisms that bring content (both interactive and static) to mobile devices and also allow them to charge you for consuming that content.
- An eBook format war will break out.
- Amazon will release a new Kindle.
- The Nook will continue to struggle but hopes for it being a Kindle Killer will keep it alive.
- e-Book Readers will be on sale at CVS, Walmart, Walgreen’s and the everywhere else come Christmas 2010.
- Amazon will make its Kindle offerings available on more devices.
- Publishers will try to take back their margins and fight Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and the rest for every dime they can.
Android has been a big story in 2009 and will become a bigger one in 2010. More and more Android devices (phones and more) are hitting the market and look for more in 2010. Will Android begin to dominate in 2010? I think we could see that, but honestly I think we’re looking at 2011 for the real year of Android.Â Developers are the key here, and Google could help things along and probably will.
- There will be a Google phone in 2010.
- The Google-Apple rift will widen as Android devices will have unique apps that Apple won’t be able to deliver in 2010.
Microsoft: A lot of folks are counting Microsoft out on a number of fronts. Perhaps they are hopeful, but I don’t understand why. Microsoft will continue its comeback in 2010 but it will also stumble a few times.
- Windows 7 will continue to flourish.
- Microsoft’s Cloud Strategy will come more into focus and because of its ties to the Office platform will see some early signs of success, but won’t gain real traction in 2010.
- Microsoft will release a version of Silverlight for the iPhone.
- Microsoft Office 2010 will perform better than most are expecting.
- OneNote 2010 will still be a big secret as far as Microsoft is concerned.
- Microsoft will finally release Windows Mobile 7. It will be too late. Before Windows Mobile 7 is released we will hear rumblings of what will replace it.
- Touch will continue to be a story, but the story will be why is no one developing for it.
- Microsoft’s retail store strategy will move forward but we will begin to see some early cracks in the brick and mortar.
Netbooks and Notebooks
- The dividing line between netbooks and notebooks will become more blurry.
- Netbooks will still be a dominant story, but that story will begin to fade as everyone looks for the next big disruptive force.
- Notebook manufacturers will still struggle to find the sweet spot when it comes to margins. Those who opt to follow Apple to the higher end will fail unless they can change the point of sale dynamic. No one wants to buy a > $1400 notebook in Best Buy.
- USB 3.0 will begin to trickle out but no one will care.
Mobile Tech in General
- Carriers will begin to see the wisdom of changing their ways but will still be too tied to old business models to do so.
- Apple and Google will continue to dominate the mobile tech news.
- MIDs will disappear as a category.
- Nokia will continue to sink and its downward spiral won’t be helped by all of the posts and news articles saying that it is faltering.
- The Palm Pre will become an afterthought.
- HTC will continue to make intriguing devices as long as they stick with phones.
- The move to subsidize Netbooks will continue but lag as more customers realize there are no savings to be had.
- AT&T will try to punish heavy data users in some fashion and will gain yet another black eye in the public’s perception.
- We will still be treated to lies about battery life.
- Every new device will somehow get labeled a Tablet.
- There will be nothing new on the original Tablet PC front. We will see more of the same, even though the traditional Tablet PC OEMs will release new models.
- Lenovo and HP will continue to dominate the Tablet PC space.
- There will be no new applications for Tablet PCs in 2010.
- Internet Tablets will be released all over. They will not succeed.
- N-Trig and Wacom’s woes will still be a mystery.
- Apple Tablet rumors and hype will rise to an even higher fever pitch.
- Apple will release a 4G iPhone in 2010.
- Apple’s App Store woes and successes will continue. Every bit of good news will be accompanied by a story of bad news.
- Apple will feel the pressure for Google’s Android and Google’s Apps will start to lose focus on the iPhone.
- Apple’s shiny sheen which has already dulled a little bit will continue to dull as 2010 unfolds.
- Apple will release a Tablet like device in 2010, but it will be late 2010. The verdict won’t be known until 2011.
- Google’s Chrome OS will be unleashed. It will still be in Beta and we won’t really know if it will have traction until 2011/12.
- Google will continue to stretch its competitive muscles against Apple and Microsoft and begin to make even more inroads. Google Voice and other apps will become the wedge.
- Eric Schmidt will be rumored to be heading into government service.
- Google Wave will make some noise but still be looked at as a curiosity.
- Fart apps will show up on Android devices.
The Best of the Rest
- Cloud Computing will continue to gain focus, but consumers will still opt for more traditional computing.
- The real-time experience will get closer, gain some traction, then lose momentum. This will all happen in real time.
- Facebook will make 3 changes to its user interaction and tick off everybody on at least two of those occasions.
- Copyright will become a hot button issue.
- Twitter will begin to lose its luster.
- The FCC will continue to make noise about telecom issues but take no action to change things.